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KIDS CORNER REVIEWS FOR: MAY 2007

"COMICBOOK MAN"
"Parents, we get dozen's of kid friendly titles in every week. Which ones are gem's and which ones aren't? That's what the reviews below are for. Every week our crack review staff picks through that weeks kids releases and reviews the titles you may be interested."

SPIDERMAN FAIRY TALES #1
a Marvel Comics Mini-Series

Comic Review by:
Jim "Good Old JR" Rutkowski
Release Date:
06007

This is a follow-up of sorts to Marvelís previous excursion into Mother Goose land: "X-Men Fairy Tales". From what Iíve read so far, the arachnid version is no better. Iím not exactly sure what audience this is meant for. The book is rated for ages 9 and up. Yet thereís really nothing in here that would ruffle any feathers. The adult readership will shun it because of the style and the kids arenít really interested in fairy tales anymore unfortunately. So what weíre left with is a cipher. The story is a take on Little Red Riding Hood and melds the Spidey mythos rather awkwardly into a very dull mish-mash of clichť and attempts to be witty. The book fails on nearly every level. The art is highly stylized but not very effective or original. The writer C.B. Cebulski never once tries to bend or stretch the original Riding Hood story. It all happens as you remember it except for the fact the Peter Parker and his cast of characters are now involved. This book is like a slice of white bread; untoasted, unbuttered, unjellied. In a word, bland. Somebody pass me some mayo. Stat!

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BARRONS GRAPHIC CLASSICS JOURNEY TO CENTER EARTH
a Barron's Graphic Novel Series

Comic Review by:
Jim "Good Old JR" Rutkowski
Release Date:
052307

It seems that every few years, a publisher comes along and decides that the time is right to resurrect the concept of Classics Illustrated. For those of you too young to remember, Classics Illustrated was a regularly published comic book that adapted a great work of literature into comic form. That initial series ran from 1941 until 1962. Since then several publishers have attempted to emulate the original series. Now Barrons Publishing has introduced the latest heir to the CI idea in Graphic Classics. So far Barrons has published 6 titles in the line. The latest is Journey to the Center of the Earth. And a fine successor it is. Faithfully adapted from Jules Verneís original novel, this comic does a respectable job of distilling the novel down to comic length. The art is perfectly acceptable and at times quite detailed. The intention with this type of book is to introduce the classics to young readers and hopefully drive them to seek out the original novels. Whether Barrons can succeed in doing that remains to be seen but they are certainly off to an admirable start with Journey.

MSRP: $8.99
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KIDZ CORNER COMIC REVIEW:
SHAZAM AND THE MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL #3
a DC Comics mini series

Comic Review by:
Jim "Good Old JR" Rutkowski
Release Date:
050207

For the most part, the previous two installments of this four-part series included the perfect blend of whimsical superhero fare, heartwarming emotion and tongue-in-cheek satire, but this issue spends so much time taking overt (and hardly original) pot-shots at the current political climate, it hardly finds time to have any fun. Smith has somewhat deflated his all-ages take on Captain Marvel of all its charm, a feat I would have thought impossible after reading the previous two wonderful installments. Someone may want to tell Mr. Smith to tone down his political beliefs in comic books about ten-year old superheroes, talking tigers, evil alligators, and giant robots. I seriously question writer/artist Jeff Smith's decision to include so much straightforward political satire in this issue. This isn't because I have anything against political commentary in superhero comics, but Smith's thinly veiled criticism of current real world politics and media mixes with his light-hearted and energetic take on Captain Marvel about as well as oil mixes with water. Itís a shame because the first two parts demonstrated flawless story-telling. This issue seems like it came from another series entirely. I can only hope that Smith pulls it all together with the finale. Somewhat recommended.

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All Books/Characters pictured herein are © Copyright 2007 by their respective owners. No rights given or implied by Alternate Reality, Incorporated.

Reviews © 2007 Alternate Reality, Inc.

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